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6 Insights from the 2022 Cosmic Conference

At the end of the 2022 Cosmic Conference, each Centaur shared an insight that resonated with them.

This article was part of our annual Cosmic Conference series and this year our focus was all about (re)Designing the Employee Experience. From Sept. 28th - Oct. 21st, 2022 we explored all things EX. Check out all conference sessions and insights here.

The 3 weeks of our 2022 Cosmic Conference all about (re)designing the employee experience just came to an end, and there is so much that #TeamCentaur learned. In this article, we outline the insights that resonated with us the most. You can also check out all the videos of the sessions here.

Karma: Claudius Boller’s insights about how Spotify’s flexibility is a value that fulfills a business purpose strongly resonated with me. At times when flex-washing has unfortunately become a common thing, it was refreshing to learn how a company saw and leveraged the correlation between flexibility and creativity. As he said, it is not easy to truly embrace flexibility, but the results are very much worth it. Clear communication (such as having guidelines, and listening to employees’ needs) is key to having a great employee experience.

Tala: There are two concepts that I absolutely loved from Dr. Agustin Chevez’s session on the workplace. First, Gus spoke about ‘absurdity at work’ and how the office can be limiting. He referred to offices as a ‘temple of rationality’ and I love this reference. In an office, there are unspoken rules about how we are to carry and conduct ourselves, but these spaces are not designed to welcome the wild and wacky ideas that fuel innovation. I see the antidote to this within another concept he talked about: “incubating ideas in isolation. ”Throughout the conference, in all our discussions around (re)designing the employee experience, we have been hyper-focused on the idea of togetherness because we know that human connection is so important to both engagement and performance. However, this also means we overlook the importance of designing “space” for intentional thought and ideation, away from thedistractions and notifications, and free from the parameters set by the office or workplace. In isolation you allow yourself to dream, to think outside of the confines of what is realistic or attainable. When isolated and distanced from the work, you have the space to find the ‘absurd’ and take delight in a process of innovation that is truly limitless.

Marie: I loved Scott Armstrong’s advice to leaders to ‘drop the superhero hat’ in the session about (re)prioritizing Well-being at Work. Leaders are pressured to show up as seemingly perfect human beings who are able to take everything on, drive business results, and keep everyone focused on the goal even if they are going through hard times themselves. Some leaders need to be liberated and bring their authentic self to work. Showing vulnerability does not necessarily mean they are weak, on the contrary it will pave the way for their team members to be more open about their emotions and come together as a team to support each other. This can only lead to positive dynamics inside the team and an increased trust that will only allow them to work better together.

Marilyn: John Preece’s session really resonated with me. His insights about how real estate providers and landlords can contribute to the future of the office were refreshing - we rarely hear about this perspective. For example, by focusing on HQ venues, rather than other spaces which will eventually get repurposed, employees, customers, and potential hires can immerse themselves in the organization's brand - which in turn reinforces the organizational culture. I also liked John’s 4 components approach to flexible work (people/technology/time/place) as it echoes with our own Omnichannel Organization ™ Framework.

Daniella: I really enjoyed Jonathan’s session about (re)Thinking your identity at work. Jonathan’s definition of identity as an ongoing journey of discovery resonated with me since identity tends to change across time and place.

What I liked the most about the session is the coaching exploration activity. Jonathan was a great facilitator and the volunteers were so vulnerable and honest, describing every aspect of their identity without the fear of being judged. I think this exercise is a great one to use while onboarding new joiners as it allows them to introduce themselves to others holistically and get to know their colleagues as well.

Maya: Everything about Dr. Connie Hadley’s presentation on our collaborative survey findings was remarkable. The insight I loved most, and what I would love to share with others is that team rituals lead to stronger commitment to a team’s purpose. Many teams overlook rituals and don’t believe in their impact but this should change. The data collected in this research initiative proved that rituals develop a sense of closeness, psychological safety, engagement, and commitment in a team, all of which help to create a meaningful and impactful employee experience.

These are just a few of the lasting insights we captured in the 2022 Cosmic Conference. You can learn more about how to (re)Design the employee experience here

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